Freehand Wins Three Alberta Book Publishing Awards


Freehand Books was honoured at the Book Publisher Association of Alberta’s annual Book Publishing Awards Gala in Edmonton on Sept. 18, taking took home three awards:

Boundary Problems, by Greg Bechtel, won the 2015 Trade Fiction Book of the Year Award.
Detachment: An Adoption Memoir, by Maurice Mierau, won the 2015 Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award.
• Freehand editor Barbara Scott was awarded the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for her work on Detachment, by Maurice Mierau.


For the past twenty-six years, the Alberta Book Publishing Awards have celebrated the work that the province’s book publishers do to enrich and sustain the literary and cultural landscape. The awards honour the excellence and innovation of Alberta’s publishing industry. This year, nine publishers submitted over seventy entries across ten categories, straddling different genres and ranging from book design, to editorial excellence.

In Boundary Problems, a collection of ten short stories, Edmonton-based author Greg Bechtel effortlessly shatters the boundaries between speculative and literary fiction. In addition to winning the BPAA’s 2015 Trade Fiction Book of the Year Award, Boundary Problems was also shortlisted for the 2015 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and the William L. Crawford Fantasy Award. It was longlisted for the prestigious 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

In Detachment: An Adoption Memoir, Maurice Mierau probes not only the process of adoption but what comes after. Earlier in 2015, Detachment won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction at the Manitoba Book Awards, and was a finalist for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. Detachment is currently a finalist for the Winnipeg Public Library’s On the Same Page, which is Manitoba’s biggest book club. Mierau was also shortlisted for the $25,000 Biennial Kobzar Literary Award, given to an author who develops Ukrainian-Canadian themes. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced in March, 2016.

Barbara Scott was the recipient of the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for her work on Detachment. As an editor, she was judged on her success in accomplishing the editorial goals of the project. The size and complexity of the project were taken into consideration, as were the editor’s accuracy, professionalism, and sensitivity.

This award is named in honour of Lois Hole, the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, for her dedication to books, libraries, literacy, and her respect for editors.

More information about the Alberta Book Publishing Awards can be found on the Book Publishers Association of Alberta website at

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